DOUGLAS — A Douglas woman is asking for help in locating a three-foot high Virgin Mary statue carved out of limestone that had been shipped here from Italy and was recently stolen off her mother’s grave at Calvary Cemetery.
On Dec. 17, Gloria “Veronica” Urquijo visited the grave of her mother, Maria del Refugio Montion, and saw the statue on the ground behind the headstone. She promptly reported to a city employee working at the cemetery that it had been removed from the headstone. She was under the impression city crews would reinstall the statue.
When Urquijo visited the grave earlier this month, she was heartbroken to see the statue was not reinstalled on the headstone and was nowhere to be found.
“It’s sad someone would do this,” she said. “Looking back I wish I had put it in my car the day I saw it on the ground. I’m the only one left here now to put flowers and make sure the grave is OK. It really bothers me that somebody would do this. Whoever did this had to have some tools. It was fastened on there really well.”
Urquijo said her mom passed away in May 1965 when Urquijo was 14. The statue was installed a year later on top of the headstone that came from California.
“It’s been here all these years and we never had a problem,” she said. “We purchased it in 1966. It cost us around $600. I’m sure it’s way more expensive now. I’m not quite sure how we’re going to replace it.”
Urquijo’s cousin, Diana Rabago-Payne, said when she visited the grave early in December the statue was on top of the headstone.
“Somebody had to have seen something,” Rabago-Payne said. “This happened around the holidays. I find this very disturbing that somebody would do this.”
A report with the Douglas Police Department has been filed. Family members are asking for anyone with information about the missing statue to come forward and contact them or the DPD.